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And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans.

For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to Him—

and all along He knew who would—should become like His Son,

so that His Son would be the First, with many brothers.

And having chosen us, He called us to come to Him; and when we came,

He declared us “not guilty,” filled us with Christ’s goodness,

gave us right standing with Himself, and promised us His glory.

What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these?

If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? 

Since He did not spare even His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all,

won’t He also surely give us everything else?

 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? Will God? No!

He is the One who has forgiven us and given us right standing with Himself.

Who then will condemn us? Will Christ? No!

For He is the One who died for us and came back to life again for us

and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us there in heaven.

Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us?

When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed,

is it because He doesn’t love us anymore?

And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death,

has God deserted us?

No, for the Scriptures tell us that for His sake

we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—

we are like sheep awaiting slaughter;

but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ

who loved us enough to die for us. 

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love.

Death can’t, and life can’t.

The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away.

Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow,

or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—

nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God

demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us.

(Romans 8:28-39)

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 Woke up seeking the Lord, asking His Holy Spirit to fill me every nook, crevice and cranny with the wisdom and knowledge of God the Eternal Father that I may walk in the spirit of His Truth on earth as in heaven.

Went downstairs turning my attention in devotion to His Word but nothing was
coming to me except a task He had given and I had it prepared and awaiting His instruction on the next step.  That’s when, it came to cover it in the Blood of Jesus
for that very sound bubbled up out of my innermost being and I was actually SINGING
it just before going upstairs:
“What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.”
THIS was in answer to what to say/pray over the assignment
and He gave me a SONG as His answer.

Then just as children learn best through repetition, He repeated the divine “dots”

in holy connection as I went to see what type of bird was sitting outside my
bedroom window,

SINGING loudly to me!!!

The Lord is In Charge

( remember God cares about you so much more)

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“I the Lord have called you to demonstrate My righteousness. I will guard and support you, for I have given you to My people as the personal confirmation of My covenant with them. You shall also be a light to guide the nations unto Me. You will open the eyes of the blind and release those who sit in prison darkness and despair. I am the Lord! That is My name, and I will not give My glory to anyone else; I will not share My praise with carved idols. Everything I prophesied came true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.”

The Lord is my Protection!

  • Joy<–His eye is on the sparrow/finch & I know He watches over me!
  • Simplicity<–But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ.

Enjoying the Journey<—-Joy for the Journey

 SURE SIGN of ebullient times ahead. Strength for Today, Bright Hope for Tomorrow!

  • Happiness<-who the Son sets Free!
  • High Energy<-Joy of the Lord is your Strength

Indeed, the Native peoples of North America held the house finch as a bird of HAPPINESS.

WITH THE APPEARANCE OF THIS HOUSE FINCH AND AGAIN, THIS MORNING

SAW THE BLUEBIRDS, WHO ALSO REPRESENT HAPPINESS!!, SOMETHING IS

IN THE AIR FOR CERTAIN!!!!!!!!! NEVER HAD EITHER BIRD “HANG OUT” IN OUR YARD EVEN WHEN WE HAD THE TREES AND USED TO KEEP THE YARD NICE.

The Native peoples observed the diverse variety and colors and considered the House finch as a bird to be favored because they were painted in shades of BRIGHT JOY. Furthermore, joyful dispositions and their obviously freedom-loving behaviors are admirable qualities much revered by our wise ancestors.

Another site, connects the finch with the RESURRECTION specifically a legend

that while Christ was carrying his cross the finch was trying to remove the crown

of THORNS as finches eat thorns and thistles (also thorny!)  I had actually looked

at the finch seeds that I purchased and realized they are from THISTLES.

Jesus was carried in the agonies of the last lap of His race by the hope of joy.

“For the JOY that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame”

(Hebrews 12:2).

Christ, the Hope of Glory!

Jesus kept His eyes on the same place we should —

His own future exaltation at the Father’s right hand,

with the COMPLETION of our salvation crowning His head. This was His JOY.

“So you’ll go out in JOY, you’ll be led into a whole and COMPLETE life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with SONG.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause.
No more THISTLES, but giant sequoias, no more THORNbushes, but stately pines— Monuments to Me, to God, living and lasting EVIDENCE of God.”  (Isaiah 55:13)

If that weren’t enough, Native wisdom holds the finch as an oracle of celebration

and upcoming festivities.

These are song birds, and their music heralds the bounty of spring.

<—-Look what David

(THE MAN WITH THE ❤ THAT GOD WAS PLEASED WITH!) said

to the GIANT ENEMY (Goliath)——>

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“Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

(1 Samuel 17:44)

AND OUT OF THE MOUTH OF 2-3 WITNESSES, HERE ARE 2 MORE WITNESSES:
“Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says:

Call out to every kind of BIRD and all the wild animals:

‘Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you,

the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. (Ezekiel 39:17)

  I saw the Beast and, assembled with him, earth’s kings and their armies,

ready to make war against the One on the horse and his army.

The Beast was taken, and with him, his puppet, the False Prophet,

who used signs to dazzle and deceive

those who had taken the mark of the Beast and worshiped his image.

They were thrown alive, those two, into Lake Fire and Brimstone.

The rest were killed by the sword of the One on the horse,

the sword that comes from his mouth. All the BIRDS held a FEAST on their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21)

 

Indeed, the SONG of the House finch is holds a great deal of symbolism.

When the House finch SINGS to our awareness it is a beckoning to unleash our own SONG. If we’ve been concealing His light from the world,

the ever-increasing radiance of the glorious Son of God-

the finch is a sign to start making our value as His more audible and available

to others.

This morning wakening to the song of the birds!!!!  God didn’t let me forget, He knew

I would go to see which bird was singing and see the red male House finch

and find this out!!!

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 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the BIRDS, FREE and UNfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count FAR MORE to him than birds.”

(AGAIN THERE’S THAT “MUCH MORE” THAT HE KEPT BRINGING TO ME THIS PAST WEEKEND)

 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch?

All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it?

The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

 “If God gives SUCH ATTENTION to the appearance of wildflowers—

most of which are never even seen—don’t you think He’ll attend to you,

take pride in you, do HIS BEST for you?

What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting,

so you can respond to God’s giving.

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things,

but you know both God and how He works.

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.

Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find ALL your everyday human concerns will be met.

 

 “Give your ENTIRE ATTENTION to what God is doing RIGHT NOW,

and don’t get worked up about what may OR may not happen tomorrow.

God will HELP you deal with WHATEVER hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:25-34)

The House finch will SING lightly to your HEART,

and guide you on a bouncy path of the freedom of being simply a child of the Creator.

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Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the BEST, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to PRAISE , not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will WORK YOU into his most EXCELLENT HARMONIES. (Philippians 4:8-9)***

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive.

It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”  (Matthew 4:4)

  • Feathers:
    Did you know House finches have, on the average, 12 tail feathers?
  • Twelve is symbolic of structure, particularly in matters of time
  • (our 24 day is halved by 12, twelve months in most calendars).
  • Tail feathers are the rudders, so the finch may be telling us to
  • “Navigate time wisely!”
  • Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
  • making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
  • (Ephesians 5:15-16)

THE TRUTH OF THE LORD GOD

Twelve in Hebrew is YOD-BETH = Governmental Perfection/Authority!
To write 12 in Hebrew, they wrote 2 Hebrew letters:  Yod-Beth.

These signify the outworking hand of the HOUSEHOLD IN HARMONY***

(See Philippians verse above!!)

UNDER DIVINE AUTHORITY!!!

12 sons of Jacob & 12 apostles (Old & New Testament)

12 foundations in New Jerusalem with 12 gates & 12 angels at the gates

(Revelation 21:TWELVE!!!) and 12 pearls at the gates (Revelation 21:21)

21 has to do with being covered by God’s grace during times of great spiritual GROWTH

MUCH MORE GRACE when sin abounds we receive grace all sufficient to overcome all the evil even the extreme evil of the end times.  Our times are in God’s hands!

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“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;

    let the birds tell you what’s going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree
   that God is sovereign, that He holds all things in His hand—
Every living soul, yes,
every breathing creature?
Isn’t this all just common sense,
as common as the sense of taste?
Do you think the elderly have a corner on wisdom,
that you have to grow old before you understand life? (Job 12:7-12)

NOTE HOW IT IS 12TH CHAPTER AND GOES INTO 12TH VERSE!!!

New Jerusalem is foursquare at 12,000 furlongs.

The wall is 144 cubits high which is 12 x 12.

THIS ALL PORTRAYS THE CONCEPT OF DIVINE GOVERNMENT & AUTHORITY!!!!!

Though all priests & kings are anointed,

the Old Testament specifically records

12 anointed men.

The first 5 are priests, the last 7 are kings.

Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, Ithamar,

Saul, David, Absalom, Solomon, Jehu, Joash, Jehoahaz

His Eyes Pouring FIRE-Blaze

  I, John, am writing this to the seven churches in Asia province:

All the best to you from The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive, and from the Seven Spirits assembled before His throne,

and from Jesus Christ—Loyal Witness, Firstborn from the dead, Ruler of all earthly kings.

Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us,
who blood-washed our sins from our lives,
Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for His Father,
forever—and yes, He’s on his way!
Riding the clouds, He’ll be seen by every eye,
those who mocked and killed Him will see Him,
People from all nations and all times
will tear their clothes in lament.
Oh, Yes.

(Revelation 1:4-7)

Jesus spoke of 12 thrones on which the 12 apostles would sit to judge the 12 tribes of Israel.  Solomon had 12 officers ruling with responsibility in his HOUSEHOLD!!!

(again household salvation/harmony)

If we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship (household harmony)

with one another & the blood of Jesus washes us from all unrighteousness!!!

The 12th time Jesus is mentioned is in Matthew 4:10,

where He establishes the TRUTH, of DIVINE GOVERNMENT.

Remember the ONE recurring word given for the release of the one we’re praying for is that even the TRUTH will stand up and deliver him!!!

Then Jesus said to him,

“Begone, Satan!

For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and SERVE Him ONLY.”

(Matthew 4:10)

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Psalm 77:13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary… It is when you are in unbroken communion with Him that you understand His ways. Did you notice what he said? As soon as he said, “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary,” he said, “…who is a great God like unto Thee?” A little bit before he thought God didn’t care; now he says, “God is great. God is good.” Where did he learn that? The same place the sparrow built her nest. It might be wise to learn a lesson from the sparrow.

What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I’ve always longed to live in a place like this,
Always dreamed of a room in Your house,
where I could sing for joy to God-alive!

Birds find nooks and crannies in Your house,
sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!

And how blessed all those in whom You live,
whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!

God-of-the-Angel-Armies, listen:
O God of Jacob, open your ears—I’m praying!
Look at our shields, glistening in the sun,
our faces, shining with Your gracious anointing.

 One day spent in Your house, this beautiful place of worship,
beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God
than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with His traveling companions.
It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

(Psalm 84)

1

Think FIRE and BLOOD – Red rushes to us with messages of the passion of the Christ on the Cross where God’s great love was manifest to destroy the works of the devil. This is the work of God to believe on the One sent! The Son is the expressed radiance of the Father, and His LOVE. Red is associated with the number: ONE (SALVATION in found in No ONE else), “I am ignited” Stir into flame the strength and boldness, implied; literally, “stir up the gift of God.” ( 2 Timothy 1:6)

As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.

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When many are deceived, we should thereby be awakened to look to ourselves. And the disciples of Christ, if it be not their own fault, may enjoy holy security and peace of mind, when all around is in disorder. But they must take heed that they are not drawn away from Christ and their duty to him, by the sufferings they will meet with for his sake. They shall be hated of all men: trouble enough! Yet the work they were called to should be carried on and prosper. Though they may be crushed and borne down, the gospel cannot be. The salvation promised is more than deliverance from evil, it is everlasting blessedness. (Matthew Henry)

Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say.

 “When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say.

When the time comes, say what’s on your heart—

the Holy Spirit will make His witness in and through you.  (Mark 13:11)

Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free.
For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly.
Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time. (James 2:12-13)
 

All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom.
You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way.
When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with His strong angels, He’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time.
His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for.
Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message
will pay for what they’ve done.
Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and His splendid power is their sentence. But on that very same day when He comes, He will be exalted by His followers
and celebrated by all who believe—and all because you believed what we told you.
(2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)
 

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. ~George Iles

Love is the Hand of God taking hold of yours.
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Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

And so you will bear testimony to Me.

But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.

For I will give you words and wisdom

that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.  (Luke 21:13-15)

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Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God. There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You’re involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, on which you are now getting an updated report in this letter.

 “When He comes,

He’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in Me is their basic sin;

that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father,

out of their sight and control;

that judgment takes place

as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.  (John 16:8-11)

Settle it therefore in your hearts,…. Resolve on this in your minds,

and let it be a rule never to be departed from:

not to meditate before what you shall answer; not to sit down, and study a form of words, and scheme of things, what to reply to the ensnaring questions,

that may be thought would be asked, by kings and rulers,

or any of the judges before whom they should be brought; it being natural for persons, especially of a low life, to be timorous and fearful, to appear before such great personages, and to be thoughtful and solicitous what to say to any question that may be asked them; (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

 For

all humanity is like grass,
all its glory is like a wildflower —
the grass withers, and the flower falls off;
but the Word of Adonai lasts forever. 

Moreover, this Word is the Good News which has been proclaimed to you.  (1 Peter 1:24-25)

“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.”

Ultimately it does not matter whether we are here or gone; our purpose stays fixed, and that is to please Him. (2 Cor. 5:9)

The World Is Not a Stage but a Witness Stand

At the time God made Earth and Heaven,
before any grasses or shrubs had sprouted from the ground—
God hadn’t yet sent rain on Earth, nor was there anyone around to work the ground (the whole Earth was watered by underground springs)—God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life.
The Man came alive—a living soul!
Genesis 2:5-7

You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage,

acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get.

When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively.

That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.  (Matthew 6:3-4)

For if we live, we live for the Lord. If we die, we die for the Lord. So in both life and death, we belong to the Lord.

(Romans 14:8)

 “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.

To the people who WITNESSED Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead…

Jesus (to the parents): Don’t tell anybody what you’ve just seen. Why don’t you give her something to eat?

I know she is hungry.”    —“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.

He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” (Matthew 5:6)

 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.” based on a detail from “The Raising of Jairus' Daughter” (1878) by Gabriel Max. Dublin, Ireland 2010


Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
based on a detail from “The Raising of Jairus’ Daughter” (1878) by Gabriel Max. Dublin, Ireland 2010

“Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

WITNESSING TO ALL NATIONS

“But before any of this happens, they’ll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry My name. You’ll end up on the WITNESS stand, called to TESTIFY. Make up your mind right now not to worry about it.

I’ll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.  (Luke 21:12-15)

"Spread for Me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, And call for help when you’re in trouble— I’ll help you, and you’ll honor Me.”

“Spread for Me a banquet of praise,
serve High God a feast of kept promises,
And call for help when you’re in trouble—
I’ll help you, and you’ll honor Me.”

Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer.

Then Sings My Soul

Of one thing I am certain: my soul has become calm, quiet, and contented in You. Like a weaned child resting upon his mother, I am quiet. My soul is like this weaned child.

Of one thing I am certain: my soul has become calm, quiet, and contented in You.
Like a weaned child resting upon his mother, I am quiet.
My soul is like this weaned child.

So make up your minds not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.

yet God makes use of temporal judgments

God will stand by you.

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

It is by Christian patience we keep possession of our own souls, and keep out all those impressions which would put us out of temper.

(Matthew Henry)

—but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.

Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,

and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

God is not the Author of confusion  but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

The spirits of the prophets subject to the control of prophets.  The spirit of prophecy is the TESTIMONY,

the WITNESS of Jesus Christ.

Settle it therefore in your hearts,.... Resolve on this in your minds, and let it be a rule never to be departed from: not to meditate before what you shall answer; not to sit down, and study a form of words, and scheme of things, what to reply to the ensnaring questions, that may be thought would be asked, by kings and rulers, or any of the judges before whom they should be brought; it being natural for persons, especially of a low life, to be timorous and fearful, to appear before such great personages, and to be thoughtful and solicitous what to say to any question that may be asked them; See Gill on Matthew 10:19.

Settle it therefore in your hearts,…. Resolve on this in your minds, and let it be a rule never to be departed from:
not to meditate before what you shall answer; not to sit down, and study a form of words, and scheme of things, what to reply to the ensnaring questions, that may be thought would be asked, by kings and rulers, or any of the judges before whom they should be brought; it being natural for persons, especially of a low life, to be timorous and fearful, to appear before such great personages, and to be thoughtful and solicitous what to say to any question that may be asked them; See Gill on Matthew 10:19.

A Life of God-Worship

 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes

or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion.

There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach,

more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.

Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God.

And you count far more to him than birds.  (Matthew 6:25-26)

This is your Father you are dealing with, and He knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes.

 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.

 “When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it.

It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint.

If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face.

God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; He’ll reward you well.   (Matthew 6:8-18)

But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life. The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.

But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life. The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.

Set up road signs, erect guideposts,
pay attention to the highway,
the path on which you traveled.

 

“All your children will be taught by Adonai; your children will have great peace.
In righteousness you will be established, far from oppression, with nothing to fear; far from ruin, for it will not come near you.
Any alliance that forms against you will not be My doing; whoever tries to form such an alliance will fall because of you.
It is I who created the craftsman who blows on the coals and forges weapons suited to their purpose;
I also created the destroyer to work havoc.
No weapon made will prevail against you. In court you will refute every accusation.
The servants of Adonai inherit all this; the reward for their righteousness is from Me,” says Adonai.

(Isaiah 54:13-17)

Psalm 29, A song of David.

Give all credit to the Eternal, O heavenly creatures;  give praise to Him for His glory and power.
Give to the Eternal the glory due His name;  worship Him with lavish displays of sacred splendor.

The voice of the Eternal echoes over the great waters; God’s magnificence roars like thunder.
    The Eternal’s presence hovers over all the waters.
His voice explodes in great power over the earth.  His voice is both regal and grand.

The Eternal’s voice shatters the cedars; His power splinters the great cedars of Lebanon.
He speaks, and Lebanon leaps like a young calf; Sirion jumps like a wild, youthful ox.

The voice of the Eternal cuts through with flames of fire. The voice of the Eternal rumbles through the wilderness
    with great quakes;
    He causes Kadesh to tremble.

The Eternal’s voice brings life from the doe’s womb; His voice strips the forest bare, and all the people in the temple declare, “Glory!”

The Eternal is enthroned over the great flood;  His reign is unending.
 We ask You, Eternal One, to give strength to Your people; Eternal One, bless them with the gift of peace.

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Christmas Bells

I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

What if I speak in the most elegant languages of people or in the exotic languages of the heavenly messengers, but I live without love? Well then, anything I say is like the clanging of brass or a crashing cymbal.  What if I have the gift of prophecy, am blessed with knowledge and insight to all the mysteries, or what if my faith is strong enough to scoop a mountain from its bedrock, yet I live without love? If so, I am nothing. I could give all that I have to feed the poor, I could surrender my body to be burned as a martyr, but if I do not live in love, I gain nothing by my selfless acts.

Paul boils it all down for the believers in Corinth. Religious people often spend their time practicing rituals, projecting dogma, and going through routines that might look like Christianity on the outside but that lack the essential ingredient that brings all of it together—love! It is a loving God who birthed creation and now pursues a broken people in the most spectacular way. That same love must guide believers, so faith doesn’t appear to be meaningless noise.

Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love;  it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs  or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight!  Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.  Love will never become obsolete. Now as for the prophetic gifts, they will not last; unknown languages will become silent, and the gift of knowledge will no longer be needed.  Gifts of knowledge and prophecy are partial at best, at least for now,  but when the perfection and fullness of God’s kingdom arrive, all the parts will end.  When I was a child, I spoke, thought, and reasoned in childlike ways as we all do. But when I became a man, I left my childish ways behind.  For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things, as when we stare into polished metal. I realize that everything I know is only part of the big picture. But one day, when Jesus arrives, we will see clearly, face-to-face. In that day, I will fully know just as I have been wholly known by God. But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love.

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Wise Men: Where is this newborn, who is the King of the Jews? When we were far away in the East we saw His NATAL star, and we have followed its glisten and gleam ALL this way to WORSHIP Him.

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

 


Written during the American Civil war, the above poem can be found in:

  • Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. The Complete Poetical Works of Longfellow. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1893.
  • Stevenson, Burton Egbert , ed. The Home Book of Verse for Young Folks. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1915

and He will reign over the covenant family of Jacob forever.

If we remain with Him,
    we will reign alongside Him.
If we deny Him,
    we will be denied by Him.

Natasha is the diminutive  form of Natalia, which in turn derives from the Latin:

Dies Natalies, meaning “Natal Day” or “Birthday”

in reference to the traditional birth of Jesus.

Ironically, your baby sister’s name,

Vasilija meaning “king” which is as a response to the angelic announcement,

Hark the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King” O Come all ye faithful … Born the King of Angels Oh come let us adore him.

 

Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

Let’s get READY to Rumble!

Revelation 12:7-12

 War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back, but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left. The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth. Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying,

Salvation and power are established!
Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah!
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
and the bold word of their witness.
They weren’t in love with themselves;
they were willing to die for Christ.
So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
but doom to earth and sea,
For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet;
he’s had a great fall;
He’s wild and raging with anger;
    he hasn’t much time and he knows it.

As a result, the dragon was enraged at the woman and went away to make war

on the rest of her children—those who keep the commandments of God

and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus.

And the dragon stood waiting on the sand of the seashore.

 

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People Returning for the Reunion “Get out of bed, Jerusalem! Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight. God’s bright glory has risen for you. The whole earth is wrapped in darkness, all people sunk in deep darkness, But God rises on you, his sunrise glory breaks over you. Nations will come to your light, kings to your sunburst brightness. Look up! Look around! Watch as they gather, watch as they approach you: Your sons coming from great distances, your daughters carried by their nannies. When you see them coming you’ll smile—big smiles! Your heart will swell and, yes, burst! All those people returning by sea for the reunion, a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations! And then streams of camel caravans as far as the eye can see, young camels of nomads in Midian and Ephah, Pouring in from the south from Sheba, loaded with gold and frankincense, preaching the praises of God. And yes, a great roundup of flocks from the nomads in Kedar and Nebaioth, Welcome gifts for worship at my altar as I bathe my glorious Temple in splendor.

Victory IN Jesus

true riches

“I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, And my yield better than choicest silver.”

Revelation 11:1-14

The scroll John eats is taken from the hand of the powerful messenger who announces

the fulfillment of all the prophecies. Just as it did for the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, the scroll represents the message John is required to proclaim;

but first he must take it in and it must become a part of him.

Initially it tastes sweet, but as it settles deep within him, it becomes bitter.

God’s message is always bittersweet.

It is sweet joy for those who turn to God, but bitter sadness for those who do not accept it.

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But whoever did want Him, who believed He was who He claimed and would do what He said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.

Then I received a measuring rod. It resembled a staff, and I was commanded to take measurements.

A Voice: Get up, and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship in it. However, do not measure the court outside of the temple. Separate that area out because it has been handed over to the nations. They will trample over the holy city for 42 months. I will authorize my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days dressed in sackcloth, the clothes that mourners wear.

These two witnesses are the two olive trees and two lampstands standing in front of the Lord of the earth. If anyone wishes to harm the witnesses, fire spews out of the witnesses’ mouths and consumes their foe in flames. Anyone who wishes to harm them is destined to die this way. They have the authority to shut up the sky so that no rain may fall during the time of their prophecies. They also have authority to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with any plague whenever they desire.

The two witnesses bear a striking resemblance to the faithful prophets of Israel and the faithful martyrs of the churches. Together they stand speaking God’s message as the nations rant and rave and trample the holy city. The lampstands, which signify the churches, are not the light, but they welcome the light and present it to the world. The olive tree, even today, is a symbol of Israel. Olive trees supply the oil for the lamps so that they may burn brightly in the darkness. For a season, the two witnesses enjoy God’s protection, but a time is coming when they will fall victim to the nations and then lie silent.

On the day they finish their testimony, the beast from the abyss will declare war on them and win victory by killing them. Their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city (which, spiritually speaking, is called Sodom and Egypt) where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days, representatives of the peoples and ethnicities, languages and nations stare down at their lifeless bodies and refuse them a proper burial. 10 Because these two prophets tormented the earth dwellers by speaking God’s message, the people will rejoice over their dead bodies and celebrate their deaths by exchanging gifts with one another.

11 At the end of the three and a half days, the spirit of life that comes from God entered their corpses, raising them, and they stood again on their feet. Those who looked on were terrified by what they saw. 12 Then they heard a great voice from heaven.

A Voice: Come up here!

Their enemies watched the spectacle as the witnesses ascended into heaven in a cloud.

13 In that same hour, a great earthquake shook the earth causing one-tenth of the city to crumble into dust, and 7,000 people were killed in the earthquake. Then the rest who were left alive, quaking in fear, turned and glorified the God of heaven.

14 The second disaster has passed; watch as the third disaster comes quickly.

 

 

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But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. A Life of God-Worship “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!— stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

Philippians 4:19

19 Know this: my God will also fill every need you have according to His glorious riches in Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King.

Transfiguration of Jesus

Just then a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and from deep in the cloud, a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love. Listen to him.”

Malachi 3:17-18

17-18 God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “They’re mine, all mine. They’ll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you’ll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn’t, between serving God and not serving him.”

The LAMB has Overcome!

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It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come— an eternity of life! You can count on this.

Bottoms Up!

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O God, listen to me! Hear my prayer! For wherever I am, though far away at the ends of the earth I will cry to You for help. When my heart is faint and overwhelmed, lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety. For You are my refuge, a high tower where my enemies can never reach me. I shall live forever in Your tabernacle; oh, to be safe beneath the shelter of Your wings! For You have heard my vows, O God, to praise You every day, and You have given me the blessings You reserve for those who reverence Your name. You will give me added years of life, as rich and full as those of many generations, all packed into one. And I shall live before the Lord forever. Oh, send Your loving-kindness and truth to guard and watch over me, and I will praise Your name continually, fulfilling my vow of praising You each day.

glory streams flood gates of heaven fill this place flood this place & fill the atmosphere with Your presence on earth as in heaven.

 It is God’s privilege to conceal things, and the king’s privilege to discover and invent.

You cannot understand the height of heaven, the size of the earth,

or all that goes on in the king’s mind!  (Proverbs 25:2-3)

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“When you come looking for Me, you’ll find Me. “Yes, when you get serious about finding Me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree. “I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.”

Ask Me and I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen here.

PRAISE PRECEDES THE TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION IN CHRIST

AS THE PRIESTS WERE 1ST INTO THE RAGING FLOOD WATERS OF BAPTISM

THEN CAME GILGAL BUT GOD PUT HIS DREAD ON THEIR ENEMIES AT SIGHT OF THEM EVEN IN WEAKENED PHYSICAL CONDITION HIS STRENGTH RAISED THEM UP

TO WALK IN HIS WILL AND TAKE HOLD OF HIS PROMISES
OUR SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE IS ONLY FOUND IN CHRIST JESUS
THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF FAITH
THOSE THAT COME TO GOD MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS
AND…
THAT HE REWARDS THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM

AGAIN LAY IT DOWN AND HE WILL RAISE YOU UP

HUMBLE YOURSELF AND HE WILL EXALT (LIFT) YOU UP.

But Jesus’ priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since He’s working from a far better plan. If the first plan—the old covenant—had worked out, a second wouldn’t have been needed. But we know the first was found wanting, because God said,

Heads up! The days are coming
    when I’ll set up a new plan
    for dealing with Israel and Judah.
I’ll throw out the old plan
    I set up with their ancestors
    when I led them by the hand out of Egypt.
They didn’t keep their part of the bargain,
    so I looked away and let it go.
This new plan I’m making with Israel
    isn’t going to be written on paper,
    isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time I’m writing out the plan in them,
    carving it on the lining of their hearts.
I’ll be their God,
    they’ll be Hy people.
They won’t go to school to learn about Me,
    or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons.
They’ll all get to know Me firsthand,
    the little and the big, the small and the great.
They’ll get to know Me by being kindly forgiven,
    with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.

By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and His people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust.

(Hebrews 8:6-13)

 Heart-of-Stone

 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in,

year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem.

As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it!

Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in.

It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people.

By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done

for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:

This new plan I’m making with Israel
    isn’t going to be written on paper,
    isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time “I’m writing out the plan in them,
    carving it on the lining of their hearts.”

He concludes,

I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.

Once sins are taken care of for good,

there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.

(Hebrews 10:11-18)

Write-Laws-on-Heart

This is the brand-new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes. I will put My law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be My people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They’ll know Me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I’ll forget they ever sinned!” God’s Decree.

Circumcision, the surgical ritual that marks you as a Jew, is great if you live in accord with God’s law.

But if you don’t, it’s worse than not being circumcised.

The reverse is also true:

The uncircumcised who keep God’s ways are as good as the circumcised—in fact, better. Better to keep God’s law uncircumcised than break it circumcised.

Don’t you see: It’s not the cut of a knife that makes a Jew.

You become a Jew by who you are.

It’s the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin, that makes a Jew.

And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics.  (Romans 2:25-29)

ifonly

How often do YOU say, “if only?” Remember that “if only…” means that “if only God…” Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

My help and glory are in God
    granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—
So trust Him absolutely, people;
    lay your lives on the line for Him.
    God is a safe place to be.

(Psalm 62:7-8)

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What do you THINK is possible? ALL things are possible WITH God. With man this is impossible But nothing is impossible with God. Remember a double negative cancels itself out. ALL things are possible WITH God!

Romans 8:31-39T

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?

If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us,

embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son,

is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?

And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen?

Who would dare even to point a finger?

The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—

is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us

and Christ’s love for us? There is no way!

Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness,

not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate You.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic,

today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—

absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love

because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

i am the resurrection and the life

Remember Lazarus? Lazarus died. But Jesus’ delay was to give those He loved new grounds for believing. Remember … Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed on where He was for two more days. After the two days, He said to His disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” Remember when Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead and buried–his tomb, a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. FUNNY THING ABOUT THIS GRAVE IT WAS ONLY ABOUT 2 MILES FROM THE HOLY CITY, JERUSALEM—Now many people had come to comfort Mary and Martha as they mourned the loss of their brother. BUT MARTHA WAS NOT INTERESTED IN A “PITY PARTY” Martha, who received Jesus’ correction previously at another house party when she was anxious and worried about many things, remembered the one thing needful–Jesus. So Martha was watching and waiting for Jesus! In this posture standing in this position of seeking, she was about to receive the wisdom of the ages, the timeless truth that Jesus is the Lord of Life!

WHEN ALL THE “IF ONLY’S…” MELT AWAY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD

Martha:  Lord, if You had been with us, my brother would not have died.  Even so I still believe that anything You ask of God will be done.

Jesus:   Your brother will rise to life.

Martha:   I know. He will rise again when everyone is resurrected on the last day.

Jesus:  I am the resurrection and the source of all life; those who believe in Me will live even in death.  Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never truly die.

Do you believe this?

Martha:   Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Anointed, the Liberating King, God’s own Son who we have heard is coming into the world. (John 11:21-27)

 

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Jesus: His sickness will not end in his death but will bring great glory to God. As these events unfold, the Son of God will be exalted. Jesus: Remember, I told you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God.

THE GLORY OF GOD GIVES LIGHT

Others too were radiant at what He did for them. Theirs was no downcast look of rejection!

They looked to Him and their faces shined with joy.

Their faces will never be covered with the shroud of shame. 

Sin’s shame blinds us to God’s paying the price to restore us to His side.

LOOKING UNTO JESUS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF FAITH

The Voice took on flesh and became human and chose to live alongside us.

We have seen Him, enveloped in undeniable splendor—the one true Son of the Father—evidenced in the perfect balance of grace and truth.  (John 1:14)

THE ENTRANCE OF HIS WORD BRINGS FORTH LIGHT

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As we look to Jesus, our Maker, our Bridegroom, our Redeemer–God is unveiling who we really are in Christ. so that we, with unveiled faces, reflect His glory, the glorious Son of the Father Almighty on earth as in heaven.

 “Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer—but stay on guard! Fear nothing!
The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing—ten days.
It won’t last forever.“Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing.

I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you.

 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death.” (Revelation 2:10-11)

True Transcendence

True Transcendence

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Send out Your light and Your truth; let them be my guide; let them lead me to Your holy mountain, to the places where You live.

Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk.
They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything.
They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings
and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ.
Everything of God gets expressed in Him, so you can see and hear Him clearly.
You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ,
and the emptiness of the universe without Him.
When you come to Him, that fullness comes together for you, too.
His power extends over everything.
Colossians 2:8-10

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This commandment that I’m commanding you today isn’t too much for you,
it’s not out of your reach.
It’s not on a high mountain—you don’t have to get mountaineers to climb the peak
and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it.
And it’s not across the ocean—you don’t have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back,
and then explain it before you can live it.
No. The word is right here and now—as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as near as the heart in your chest. Just do it!
Deuteronomy 30:11-14

All that I am, I place in To Your loving hands, I am Yours for You are the Great I Am

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“Seal me in your heart with permanent betrothal, for love is strong as death, and jealousy is as cruel as Sheol. It flashes fire, the very flame of Jehovah.”

The earlier revelation was intended simply to get us ready for the Messiah,
who then puts everything right for those who trust Him to do it.
Moses wrote that anyone who insists on using the law code to live right before God
soon discovers it’s not so easy—every detail of life regulated by fine print!
But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story—
no precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah,
no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah.

So what exactly was Moses saying?

The Word that saves is right here,
as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as close as the heart in your chest.

It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us.
This is the core of our preaching.
Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul,
God’s work of doing in us what He did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it.
You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God,
trusting Him to do it for you. That’s salvation.

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For I am jealous for you with God’s kind of jealousy; since I promised to present you as a pure virgin in marriage to your one husband, the Messiah. For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. “At that time”—this is God’s Message still— “you’ll address Me, ‘Dear Husband!’ Never again will you address Me, ‘My Slave-Master!’ I’ll wash your mouth out with soap, get rid of all the dirty false-god names, not so much as a whisper of those names again. At the same time I’ll make a peace treaty between you and wild animals and birds and reptiles, And get rid of all weapons of war. Think of it! Safe from beasts and bullies! And then I’ll marry you for good—forever! I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You’ll know Me, God, for who I really am.

With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it,

right out loud: “God has set everything right between Him and me!
Romans 10:4-10

Everything was created through Him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without Him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.

There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.
John 1:3-8

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O my God, shine Your light and truth to help me see clearly, To lead me to Your holy mountain, to Your home. Know this: my God will also fill every need you have according to His glorious riches in Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King. TAKE US INTO THE HOLY PLACE PURIFY OUR HEARTS IN YOUR UNFAILING LOVE THAT THE TRIAL OF OUR FAITH PROVES BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT YOU ARE FAITHFUL AND TRUE YOU ARE THE LORD OF ALL AMEN

Waiting for His enemies to be laid under His feet.

For by that one offering He made forever perfect in the sight of God
all those whom He is making holy.

There is a nice symmetry in this:
Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man.
Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.
But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with Him at His Coming,
the grand consummation when, after crushing the opposition,
He hands over His kingdom to God the Father.
He won’t let up until the last enemy is down—and the very last enemy is death!
As the psalmist said, “He laid them low, one and all; He walked all over them.
When Scripture says that “He walked all over them,”
it’s obvious that He couldn’t at the same time be walked on.
When everything and everyone is finally under God’s rule,
the Son will step down, taking His place with everyone else,
showing that God’s rule is absolutely comprehensive—a perfect ending!
1 Corinthians 15:21-28

Above All powers…
You Crush The Enemy 

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Before entering the House, please take off your shoes for the place you stand is Holy Ground for the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it. Everywhere you place the soles of your feet, you take His Kingdom.

How to put your foot on the devil’s neck?

And may God, the source of encouragement and patience,
give you the same attitude among yourselves as the Messiah Yeshua had,
so that with one accord and with one voice you may glorify the God and Father
of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
Romans 15:5-6

Holy Spirit, You are Welcome Here
On earth as In heaven
Come flood this place, fill the atmosphere
Overcome us with the glorious victorious presence of the Lord God Almighty,
the Father of all joy and peace in believing!

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How can a young person REMAIN pure? Only by living according to Your word. I have pursued You with my whole heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. Deep within me I have hidden Your word so that I will never sin against You. But to do this, you will need the strong belt of truth and the breastplate of God’s approval. Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit— which is the Word of God. Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with Him, reminding Him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.


Psalm 110 may have been written to celebrate the coronation of one of David’s sons as king.
The Eternal invites the royal son of David to take his rightful place at His right hand,
the place of power and authority—not just over Jerusalem but over his enemies as well.
But the royal son is to be more than a king,
he is to be a priest according the order of that mysterious and enigmatic figure, Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-24).
God promises to give this royal priest-king victory over his enemies

as he marches out to war.

This psalm is the psalm most quoted by early Christian writers in the New Testament.
As they considered the significance of Jesus,

they found that this psalm, more than any,

expressed their conviction

that the risen Jesus

now occupies a unique place at God’s right hand and will be victorious over His enemies.

The Eternal said to my lord,
“Sit here at My right hand,
in the place of honor and power,
And I will gather your enemies together,
lead them in on hands and knees;
you will rest your feet on their backs.”
Psalm 110:1 A song of David.

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How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

For everyone has heard about your obedience; therefore I rejoice over you.
However, I want you to be wise concerning good, but innocent concerning evil.
And God, the source of shalom, will soon crush the Adversary under your feet.

The grace of our Lord Yeshua be with you.
Romans 16:19-20

Overcoming faith Overcoming evil with the Overcoming One who’s coming back!
Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience]
be known to all people. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything,
but in everything [every circumstance and situation]
by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace]
which transcends all understanding,
[that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
Philippians 4:5-7

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Listen! My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.

Christ Holds It All Together

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen.
We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created.
For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible,
rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him

and finds its purpose in Him. He was there before any of it came into existence
and holds it all together right up to this moment.
And when it comes to the church,

He organizes and holds it together,

like a head does a body.
Colossians 1:15-18

True Transcendence is being made complete in union with Messiah.

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You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”

Going through a long line of prophets,
God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries.
Recently He spoke to us directly through His Son.
By His Son, God created the world in the beginning,

and it will all belong to the Son at the end.

This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature.
He holds everything together by what He says—powerful words!

The Son Is Higher than Angels

After He finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took His honored place high in the heavens right alongside God, far higher than any angel in rank and rule.

Did God ever say to an angel, “You’re My Son; today I celebrate You

or “I’m His Father, He’s My Son”?

When He presents His honored Son to the world, He says, “All angels must worship Him.”
Hebrews 1:1-6

CRUCIFIED, LAID BEHIND A STONE
OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT

STEP IN TO THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

IN TO THE RADIANCE OF HIS LIGHT

WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT

The reason the devil  is fighting you this hard is that he is trying to keep you from coming

to the realization, this dawning of the true that it’s only in the Life-Light that we live, move and have our being in Jesus the Glorified Risen Christ who vanquished our foe

and the sin and death that brings loss and destruction but Christ came that you may have life and more abundantly—to the fullest and with the fullness of God the Father Almighty.

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God is at work in you otherwise the devil your adversary the opponent of faith simple child-like trusting and walking in obedience walking worthy as a child learns and grows into maturity For this reason the enemy has sought to try to trip you up but though you may stumble the Lord is there to lift you up get you back up running the race looking unto Jesus the Pioneer and Trail-Blazer of faith who Finished the race, Stayed the course and is seated in the Victory Seat in all glory and honor at the Father’s right hand.

A New Life

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life
and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!
God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.
The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

I know how great this makes you feel,
even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime.
Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure;
genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.
When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold,
that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.

You never saw Him, yet you love Him. You still don’t see Him, yet you trust Him—
with laughter and singing.
Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to:

total salvation.

The prophets who told us this was coming
asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing.
The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—
that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory.
They clamored to know who and when.
All they were told was that they were serving you,
you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—
through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled.
Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!
1 Peter 1:3-12

The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
He brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through Him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to His own people,
but they didn’t want Him.
But whoever did want Him,
who believed He was who He claimed
and would do what He said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
not blood-begotten,
not flesh-begotten,
not sex-begotten.

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.

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Look! Striding across the mountains— a messenger bringing the latest good news: peace! A holiday, Judah! Celebrate! Worship and recommit to God! No more worries about this enemy. This one is history. Close the books.

We all live off His generous bounty,
gift after gift after gift.
We got the basics from Moses,
and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
This endless knowing and understanding—
all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
No one has ever seen God,
not so much as a glimpse.
This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
who exists at the very heart of the Father,
has made Him plain as day.
John 1:9-18

But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—
to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do,
grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers,
oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

All this energy issues from Christ:
God raised Him from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven,
in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments,
no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever.
He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything.
At the center of all this, Christ rules the church.
The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world;

the world is peripheral to the church.
The church is Christ’s body, in which He speaks and acts,
by which He fills everything with His presence.
Ephesians 1:18-23

full-obedience

When our obedience has been fulfilled, it shows that our disobedience has been brought under subjection.

BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD 

Made Complete Forever Perfected in One Obedience in Christ Jesus

Since then, He has been waiting for the day when He rests His feet on His enemies’ backs,
as the psalm says.
With one perfect offering, Jesus has perfected forever those who are being made holy,
as the Holy Spirit keeps testifying to us through the prophet Jeremiah.
After he says,

But when those days are over,” says the Eternal One,
I will make this kind of covenant with the people of Israel:
I will put My laws in their hearts
and write them upon their minds,”

then He adds,

I will erase their sins and wicked acts out of My memory
as though they had never existed.

When there is forgiveness such as this,

there is no longer any need to make an offering for sin.

So, my friends, Jesus by His blood gives us courage to enter the most holy place.
He has created for us a new and living way through the curtain, that is, through His flesh.
Hebrews 10:13-20

peace

Here on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, the Lord Almighty will spread a wondrous feast for everyone around the world— a delicious feast of good food, with clear, well-aged wine and choice beef. At that time He will remove the cloud of gloom, the pall of death that hangs over the earth; He will swallow up death forever. The Lord God will wipe away all tears and take away forever all insults and mockery against His land and people. The Lord has spoken—He will surely do it! In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God in whom we trust, for whom we waited. Now at last He is here.” What a day of rejoicing! For the Lord’s good hand will rest upon Jerusalem, and Moab will be crushed as straw beneath His feet and left to rot.

Glory Just Around the Corner

Friends, when life gets really difficult,

don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.

Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced.

This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
1 Peter 4:12-13

It is for this reason that I bow my knees before the Father,
after whom all families in heaven above and on earth below receive their names, and pray:

Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people.
Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit
so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts.
May love be the rich soil where their lives take root.
May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together
with all of Your people they will have the power to understand
that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep,
surpassing everything anyone previously experienced.
God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings.
Ephesians 3:14-19

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Be faithful until death and He will give you the crown of life. Never betray His trust, get over ‘it’ and keep walking in His will. O Lord, I will honor and praise Your name, for you are my God; You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now You have accomplished them, just as You said!

It is time that I wrap up these thoughts to you, my brothers and sisters.
Rejoice in the Lord!
(I don’t mind writing these things over and over to you, as I know it keeps you safe.)

Watch out for the dogs—
wicked workers who run in packs

looking for someone to maul with their false circumcision.

Circumcision has become a flash point for the early church.
Some are teaching that non-Jews have to become Jews to follow Jesus completely,
including circumcision, dietary regulations, keeping weekly and annual holy days,
and other Jewish practices.
Since the time of Abraham,
circumcision has been the mark of the covenant with Abraham’s spiritual children.
Things are changing: outsiders, non-Jews, are entering into the new covenant.

Do they enter by faith alone, or is it faith plus following God’s law for Israel?
Paul’s answer is clear: it is faith alone that makes Jews and outsiders right with God.
So he cautions the Philippians to watch out for those
who would chastise them into a false circumcision.
Real followers of Jesus know

that salvation doesn’t come from the blade of a knife
but from His cross.

We are the true circumcision—
those who worship God in Spirit
and make our boast in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King—
so we do not rely on what we have accomplished in the flesh.

If any try to throw around their pedigrees to you, remember my résumé—
which is more impressive than theirs.
I was circumcised on the eighth day—as the law prescribes—born of the nation of Israel, descended from the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew born of Hebrews;

I have observed the law according to the strict piety of the Pharisees,
separate from those embracing a less rigorous kind of Judaism. Zealous? Yes.
I ruthlessly pursued and persecuted the church.
And when it comes to the righteousness required by the law, my record is spotless.

But whatever I used to count as my greatest accomplishments,
I’ve written them off as a loss because of the Anointed One.
And more so, I now realize that all I gained and thought was important
was nothing but yesterday’s garbage compared to knowing the Anointed Jesus my Lord.
For Him I have thrown everything aside—it’s nothing but a pile of waste—

so that I may gain Him.
When it counts, I want to be found belonging to Him,
not clinging to my own righteousness based on law,
but actively relying on the faithfulness of the Anointed One.
This is true righteousness, supplied by God, acquired by faith.
I want to know Him inside and out.
I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death, so that I may arrive safely at the resurrection from the dead.

For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations.

For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations.

The crucified and risen Jesus is the model that Paul desires to embody
by walking deep in His pathway of death and life—suffering and resurrection.

I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect;
but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus,
has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me
and won’t let me go.
Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing:
I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission.
I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize,
and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.
All of us who are mature ought to think the same way about these matters.
If you have a different attitude, then God will reveal this to you as well.
For now, let’s hold on to what we have been shown and keep in step with these teachings.

Imitate me, brothers and sisters,
and look around to those already following the example we have set.
I have warned you before (and now say again through my tears)
that we have many enemies—people who reject the cross of the Anointed.
They are ruled by their bellies, their glory comes by shame,
and their minds are fixed on the things of this world. They are doomed.
But we are citizens of heaven, exiles on earth waiting eagerly for a Liberator,
our Lord Jesus the Anointed, to come and transform these humble, earthly bodies
into the form of His glorious body by the same power that brings all things under His control.
Philippians 3

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